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Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden looks toward the plate as he gives up a three-run home run to Minnesota Twins' Danny Valencia in the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Left-hander Dallas Braden will undergo surgery Monday to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder.

While team officials aren't speculating on how long he will be sidelined, the typical recovery time from such a procedure suggests Braden could very well miss the rest of the season.

"We've obviously discussed that as a possibility," A's assistant general manager David Forst said, "but we won't know until they go in and find what they think is there."

The bleak news came on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon. Heavy rain forced the postponement of the A's game against the Texas Rangers after 31/2 innings, though it did wipe out a 7-0 A's deficit. The game will be played in its entirety later in the season when the A's return to Rangers Ballpark.

Gio Gonzalez would have been charged with all seven runs scored by the Rangers in a rare misstep by the A's rotation. A's starters have been the best in baseball, bringing a major-league-best 2.69 ERA into Wednesday's play.

While the A's bullpen has felt the effects of missing closer Andrew Bailey, who has been sidelined all season with a forearm strain, the rotation is one area the A's might be able to withstand a long-term loss.

Tyson Ross, who stepped in for Braden, has allowed just three earned runs over his past three starts.

"Luckily for us, Tyson has stepped in and done a good job," Forst said.

Braden, 27, exited an April 16 game against Detroit with shoulder pain and hasn't pitched since. He was diagnosed with inflammation during an April 20 exam with orthopedist Lewis Yocum, which appeared to be relatively good news.

But after feeling discomfort while trying to play catch last week, Braden (1-1, 3.00 ERA) sought a second opinion Monday from Dr. James Andrews in Florida and a third opinion from Dr. David Altchek in New York on Tuesday.

Those visits confirmed a tear in his shoulder. Braden wasn't available for comment Wednesday.

"It's a tough day because he's such a competitor and good kid," A's manager Bob Geren said. "You hate to see him miss time. We hope for the best for him in the procedure and his recovery, and we'll miss him."

An A's news release that announced Braden's injury was short on specifics other than saying the pitcher was having a torn capsule repaired. A follow-up release said Braden's injury is similar to ones suffered by New York Mets pitchers Johan Santana and Chris Young.

Santana's tear was to the anterior capsule, which is located in the front and bottom part of the shoulder, near the pectoral muscle. He had surgery Sept. 14 and still was throwing long toss as recently as May 1 -- 71/2 months after his surgery.

Young has suffered the same injury two years in a row. He missed all but four starts last season and is sidelined with the same thing again.

The A's can only hope the outlook is better for their pitcher.

"My heart goes out to him," Gonzalez said of Braden. "I hope he's healthy and rejoins us as soon as possible."